By now you already know that high-quality sleep is critical for physical and mental recovery. Yet, many of us struggle to get enough rest. Finding natural products to help can be confusing, as it can be hard to know where to start. With more supplements becoming available, the task becomes even more difficult. For thos Many people claim CBD improves their sleep and reduces anxiety. Learn what CBD is, how CBD might help you, and what research needs to be done on CBD.
Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
By now you already know that high-quality sleep is critical for physical and mental recovery. Yet, many of us struggle to get enough rest. Finding natural products to help can be confusing, as it can be hard to know where to start. With more supplements becoming available, the task becomes even more difficult. For those seeking a safe and natural solution to help them sleep, finding natural products can be time consuming and confusing.
As CBD has become more widely available, more people have started to integrate it into their daily lives, particularly to see if CBD can help them sleep. At Champions + Legends we take the science of CBD seriously. We get these types of questions a lot and we’re here to help you answer the question: does CBD make you sleepy? Furthermore, can CBD oil help you sleep better and more deeply?
Introduction to CBD
CBD is one of one of at least 120 identified plant compounds, known generally as cannabinoids, which exist in the hemp plant. It is non-psychoactive, so it won’t get you “high” like THC does. Instead, it has shown a variety of health benefits without causing negative effects in most.
CBD works by interacting with receptors in the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to help enhance its responses to factors such as stress, pain, inflammation, and fatigue. A few potential benefits of CBD include:
- Supporting healthy sleep cycles
- Helps with managing and recovering from inflammation and pain
- Improved blood flow and circulation
- Relief from everyday stress
- Sense of calm or focus
- Improved athletic performance
Does CBD make you sleepy?
As to whether CBD oil can make you sleepy, it’s still open for discussion. Although more research is needed to definitely answer whether or not there is a direct link between CBD and feeling sleepy, research has shown that CBD can support better sleep.
Feelings of relaxation and the diminished anxiety brought on by a regular evening CBD routine can be effective as a sleep aid for people seeking to calm down and relax before bed.
Does CBD make you sleepy during the day?
No research has shown that that CBD makes you sleepy during the day. CBD’s ability to support feelings of calm can lead to improved focus and well being, whether you’re gearing up for a big day at work or preparing for athletic training or competition.
Studies (Blessing et al, 2015; Berger et al, 2009) show that CBD’s anxiety-reducing properties make it a useful tool to manage stress levels, boost focus, and improve mental clarity, all without experiencing drowsiness or lethargy. CBD also supports increased serotonin levels in the brain and can help decrease levels of cortisol, a natural byproduct of stress that can have harmful effects on the body.
CBD vs THC for Sleep
Some cannabis users depend on THC as a sleep aid, however, evidence suggests that CBD has definite advantages over THC (and other sleep aids) when it comes to helping you get a good night’s rest. CBD does not have intoxicating properties like THC, so it won’t cause any negative effects like excessive sedation, drowsiness or feelings of fatigue.
Additionally, CBD has been shown to be a safer alternative to over-the-counter and prescription sleep medications, which can cause undesirable side effects and lead to dependence. Research studies (Iffland & Grotenherman 2015) have shown that CBD is safe to use for sleep, with no major side effects.
THC can also have other negative effects on sleep cycles as well. According to a 2008 study (Schierenbeck et al, 2008) ingesting marijuana strains with higher levels of THC typically reduces the amount of REM sleep you get. This is key because REM sleep is extremely important for healthy cognitive and immune functioning, and ultimately using THC as a sleep aid could impair your sleep quality over the long term.
Can CBD help with sleeping disorders?
For many, trouble sleeping goes beyond difficulties letting go of the day and relaxing or getting sustained deep and restful sleep. Many suffer from more severe sleep disorders like insomnia, which can have a significant impact on their quality of life. In many cases people struggling with sleep disorders don’t want to resort to medication or intoxicants, leaving them to wonder: can CBD help with sleeping disorders and other serious sleep issues?
In addition to supporting better sleep in general, CBD has shown to be a great option for many people with sleep disorders. Because CBD interacts directly with the endocannabinoid system (responsible for maintaining homeostasis, or balance, within the body), it can help regulate sleep patterns and support the body’s natural circadian rhythms.
A 2019 study (Shannon et al, 2019) showed that CBD can also serve as a natural solution to combat insomnia, helping individuals fall asleep. The research also demonstrated that CBD helped reduce the number of instances of waking up and other night time disturbances.
How does CBD make you feel?
Overall, your response to CBD will depend largely on factors that are specific to you. This includes your body type, weight, gender, and metabolism. Additionally, the effects of CBD can be influenced by other variables including how you consume CBD (such as ingesting oil or applying a topical to your skin) as well as existing medications or supplements you may be taking.
Another important factor to consider is the type of CBD you’re using. CBD comes in three primary types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Full-spectrum contains over 120 of naturally-occurring plant compounds found in the hemp plant. Research shows that full-spectrum CBD can offer the maximum potential of benefits because all of the compounds from the plant interact together, referred to as the “entourage effect”.
Other types of CBD include broad spectrum and CBD isolate. Broad-spectrum contains most of the other cannabinoids and compounds within the plant, with the exception of THC, which is removed after the initial extraction.
CBD isolate is the most simple form of CBD and results from the removal of all of the plant compounds found in hemp except for just CBD. While some people prefer these forms of CBD because they do not include THC, they’re commonly seen as less effective than full-spectrum CBD because they do not benefit fully from the “entourage effect” mentioned earlier.
With this in mind, some of the ways CBD can affect your body and make you feel include:
- Feeling relaxed
- Sense of calm and focus
- Decreased anxiety
- Sense of improved well being
It’s also important to know that, per a study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, different doses of CBD may affect you in different ways. Lower doses can cause feelings of focus and alertness while higher doses may be relaxing.
Additionally, a 2017 study showed that CBD can have anxiolytic effects, meaning that it can reduce anxiety and be calming. When this potential for reducing anxiety and enhancing calm is combined with CBD’s potential to help muscle relaxation, many experience feelings of relaxation in both the mind and body.
The Bottom Line
In order to answer the question “Does CBD make you sleepy?” you need to understand how CBD works within the body and the factors which affect how you will respond to it.
If you’re considering a CBD routine to help you sleep, it’s important to determine the dosage that’s right for you. While we recommend starting with 12mg – 20mg twice daily, there is no standard dosage or ‘official serving size’, as it varies based on individual factors mentioned earlier. You will need to adjust your dosage in response to how you are feeling to find the amount and form of CBD that’s right for you. If you are interested in know more about CBD dosage tips and guidelines, we have another blog post on this subject that you can read by clicking here.
As with any supplement or nutrition product you’re considering adding to your regular routine, consider speaking to a health professional first.
Solutions For Quality Sleep & Recovery
Now that you have read through facts and research, how about some potential solutions if you are looking for all-natural sleep aid supplements? Our RECOVER Tincture 500mg, RECOVER Tincture 1000mg, and our RECOVER SoftGels 750mg are great to take post-workout or 60 minutes before bed.
CBD as a Sleep Aid
We regularly assess how the content in this article aligns with current scientific literature and expert recommendations in order to provide the most up-to-date research.
A good night’s sleep is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Experts recommend adults sleep seven to nine hours each night. Proper sleep ensures you feel well-rested and have energy for the next day. A good night’s rest also contributes to memory formation, helps grow and repair muscle and tissue, and prevents sickness.
Unfortunately, falling asleep or staying asleep can be difficult for certain types of sleepers. As many as 70% of Americans report not sleeping the recommended hours, and nearly one-third of American workers sleep less than six hours per night. Solutions for better sleep and avoiding sleep debt vary. Possible approaches include improved sleep hygiene, prescription sleep aids, and natural sleep aids.
One increasingly popular strategy for sleeping better is taking cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of cannabis. CBD is commonly used to improve sleep and decrease anxiety. However, the regulation of CBD in the United States is limited, and much more research must be done to determine the exact effects CBD has on sleep and other physical and mental health concerns.
About Cannabis and Cannabinoids
While there are many different slang terms for the green, narrow-leafed plant you may recognize, the plant is scientifically called Cannabis sativa. The word “cannabis” can be used to describe any products made from the plant. Cannabis plants contain multiple chemical compounds, including a group referred to as “cannabinoids.” Out of more than 100 cannabinoids, researchers have primarily studied two that appear to have the greatest impact on humans: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD.
What Is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)?
Most commonly known effects of cannabis, such as “getting high,” are caused by the cannabinoid, THC. The term “marijuana” specifically refers to parts of the Cannabis sativa plant that contain THC.
Cannabis plants and derivatives that contain less than 0.3% THC are classified as “hemp.” As of 2018, hemp is no longer defined as a controlled substance by the U.S. federal government. As a result, there has been an influx of hemp-related products in the American market. These products are generally marketed as CBD products.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD, the other commonly known cannabinoid, can be legally sold in the U.S. when extracted from hemp and marketed according to relevant regulations. CBD does not have psychoactive properties and does not bring about the same effects as THC. Also, CBD does not have effects that would lead to potential dependency or risk of abuse.
CBD is an increasingly popular substance in the U.S. While many health benefits have been attributed to CBD, in most cases, scientific validity of its effectiveness is still unclear.
Is CBD FDA-Approved?
Only a few cannabis-derived or cannabis-related drug products are FDA-approved in the U.S.:
- Epidiolex. This oral CBD solution was the first drug containing a purified cannabis-derived substance approved by the FDA. The drug is approved for seizure treatment in rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex for patients ages two and up. Although Epidiolex has been shown to reduce other types of seizures, it has not yet been FDA-approved for treating those seizures.
- Marinol and Syndros. These two drugs contain dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC. They come in capsules or oral solutions. Dronabinol affects the part of the brain that controls appetite, nausea, and vomiting, so the drugs have several therapeutic uses. These uses include the treatment of nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients and treatment of weight loss in patients with HIV.
- Cesamet. Cesamet contains nabilone, a synthetic compound with a chemical structure similar to THC. Like dronabinol, this capsule also affects the part of the brain that controls vomiting and nausea. The drug is prescribed to patients receiving chemotherapy who have not responded to other nausea and vomiting treatments.
The FDA has not approved any other CBD drug products. The agency has not determined the safety and effectiveness of cannabis or CBD in the treatment of any particular conditions or disease.
What Forms Does CBD Come In?
There are several common forms of CBD:
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- Oral sprays that are applied under the tongue
- Oils and tinctures, sometimes described as drops or droplets
- Vapes and vape juices to use in a vaping pen
- Edible items, such as gummies, chocolates, or cookies, and beverages, such as coffees and teas
- Pills and capsules
- Topical solutions, including lotions, creams, patches, gels, and ointments
What Are Common Doses of CBD?
Outside of Epidiolex, the FDA doesn’t regulate dosing of non-drug CBD products. As a result, the amount of CBD in products varies widely among forms.
Research shows 300-mg oral doses of CBD can be taken safely on a daily basis for up to six months. One scientific review showed that taking up to 1,500 mg daily was well-tolerated by participants. A subsequent review confirmed that use of 1,500 mg daily for four weeks showed no negative effects.
Unfortunately, the indicated CBD content on a product label is not necessarily the amount that the product actually contains, which may lead people to take more or less CBD than intended. One analysis of 84 CBD products sold online showed that 26% of the products contained less CBD than the label said. The same analysis showed nearly 43% of the products were underlabled, meaning they contained substantially more CBD than the label said.
While CBD at higher doses does not appear to have serious negative consequences, these products may also contain higher levels of THC than reported on the label. Other CBD products may contain THC that is not reported on the label at all. The THC in these products can produce intoxicating effects, which may or may not be desired.
What Are the Effects of Taking CBD?
Research shows that CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. CBD can also alter mood because it affects the serotonin system. Outcomes vary among people and depend on the product type and dose.
Unlike THC, CBD does not induce a feeling of being “high.” Even large doses of CBD do not produce THC-like effects. Additionally, a few studies have demonstrated that CBD reduces the psychoactive effects of THC.
Studies of short-term CBD use show that patients do not experience withdrawal.
What Health Conditions Can CBD Help With?
So far, CBD’s effectiveness in the treatment of epilepsy is well-supported by research. Other early research suggests that CBD may also help treat schizophrenia and substance use disorders.
Currently, there is insufficient research to determine the effectiveness of CBD in treating other health conditions. However, preliminary research suggests CBD can help with a number of sleep disorders, including insomnia REM sleep behavior disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness disorder. Additional preliminary research suggests CBD can also help patients improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
What Are the Risks of CBD?
Most negative effects of CBD medications and products are mild. For example, patients who use Epidiolex may experience diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues. Some people may experience drowsiness when they take CBD. Other negative effects experienced with CBD may be due to an interaction between the CBD and other medications the patient is taking.
How Can CBD Help With Sleep Disorders?
Research on the effects CBD has on sleep disorders is still preliminary. Some people who use CBD for chronic pain report sleeping better. Currently, it is unclear whether these patients sleep better because of the pain relief or because CBD directly affects their sleep.
Other initial studies of CBD and sleep disorders suggest positive outcomes. However, not everyone experiences the same sleep benefits with CBD use, and different doses might lead to different effects. Research suggests that low doses of CBD are stimulating, while high doses of CBD are sedating. Discrepancies in experience can also be attributed to the method of CBD administration and dose. Additional research is needed to deepen our understanding of CBD as an intervention for sleep disorders.
Anxiety and CBD
While not a sleep disorder itself, anxiety can contribute to poor quality sleep, insufficient sleep, and sleep disorders. Because CBD calms the nervous system, early research indicates that CBD can be used to treat anxiety-related disorders. One study showed that nearly 80% of participants who used CBD to treat their anxiety reported lower anxiety levels within a month. Sleep initially improved in more than 65% percent of participants, followed by fluctuating results.
Insomnia and CBD
People who suffer from insomnia experience difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night. This disorder affects daytime wakefulness, ability to concentrate, and mood. Because of their history of poor sleep, people with insomnia may suffer from anxiety about getting inadequate sleep, which can then increase sleeplessness at night.
Given the potential positive outcomes of CBD treating anxiety, it is speculated that CBD may also help reduce the anxiety associated with insomnia. Additionally, a new pilot study of CBD and THC use in humans with physician-diagnosed insomnia is underway. The results of the study will offer more insight into the effects CBD has on insomnia.
REM Sleep Behavior Disorder and CBD
In REM sleep behavior disorder, patients verbalize and make aggressive movements during their rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep. The disorder is most common in older patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
In a limited study of four patients with Parkinson’s disease, CBD helped manage the REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms. Before taking CBD, the patients experienced disorder symptoms 2–7 times per week. After taking CBD, the symptoms occurred 0–1 times in a week. Further studies are necessary, but these initial results suggest CBD as a possible treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder.
Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Disorder and CBD
Those who have excessive daytime sleepiness disorder struggle to stay awake during typical daytime hours. One solution for waking up on time and staying wake may be CBD. Initial research on animals shows that CBD functions as a wake-inducing drug. However, other studies suggest CBD functions as a sedating drug. Further research is needed to determine what doses and methods of CBD use affect wakefulness and sleepiness.
Does CBD Interact With Other Prescriptions?
CBD can interact with other prescriptions a person takes. In particular, CBD can slow the liver’s ability to break down certain medications. Additionally, using CBD as well as herbs or supplements can make the patient too sleepy.
Before using any CBD product, consult your doctor. Let your doctor know of any medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking, so they can assess if CBD might cause a negative interaction. Your doctor will be able to inform you if CBD is a viable option to meet your health goals.